Douglas Adams - Where Does the Idea of God Come from?

The ancient Greek philosopher Protagoras is famous among other things for arguing that "man is the measure of all things." According to Plato's interpretation, this is the philosophical birth of relativism, the idea that there is no universally objective and mind-independent truth: everything depends on one's point of view.

Though highly discredited in philosophical circles, and logically proven to be a false doctrine because of its entailment of a devastating logical contradiction, there is still an important lesson to be learned from relativism: our beliefs (but not reality) usually depend on the kind of creatures that we are.

In the following short clip, and combining this important insight with an evolutionary account of our own origins, the late Douglas Adams provides a fascinating and amusing account of our natural propensity to think teleologically and how, being tool-makers, we are are likely to phrase our questions about the existence of the universe in terms of the intentionality of some other tool-maker.



I'll be posting the entirety of this lecture soon. Stay tuned...
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